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10th Apr 2020

Leo Varadkar announces extension of Ireland’s restrictions

Conan Doherty

The restrictions in Ireland have been extended by three weeks.

It started with Seamus Heaney, it ended with Seamus Heaney but, in between, Leo Varadkar issued an extension on the lockdown in Ireland.

As the government continues their attempts to flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases in the country, the Taoiseach announced on Friday that the restrictions in place would go on until Tuesday May 5 – after the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Varadkar thanked the nation for their sacrifice thus far but warned that the spread of the coronavirus has not stopped.

“We have not stopped its spread,” he said in his Good Friday address.

“More will die and get sick before this is over. Today’s message is we cannot be complacent and we cannot lose focus. We have to keep going. We need to maintain our discipline.”

Two weeks into the new measures which have prevented the movement of Irish people throughout the country, a further three weeks have been added on until after the May Bank Holiday.

But the steps in place are necessary, Varadkar stresses.

“All we can do for now is take one day at a time.

“Your decisions will save lives. What may be an inconvenience for some will be lifesaving for others.”

Pressed afterwards about a “return to normality”, Varadkar said he hopes that after these three weeks, things will begin to “unwind” but conceded that he cannot guarantee that.

[If everyone does what we’re asking] we can be more hopeful that in three weeks time, we can begin to ease the restrictions.”

With Austria and Czech Republic beginning to ease their restrictions, the Irish government will be keeping an eye on their progress.

“We’ll be watching very carefully, what happens in those countries.”

Of course, as always, the most important metric will be the statistics in Ireland closer to May.

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